S.E. utility art project to be destroyed over safety concerns

A work of art in southeast Calgary will be painted over because Enmax says it is a safety concern.

Emax says artist painted over important, critical information

The stages of development of a utility box Mary-Leigh Doyle was commissioned to paint. (Mary-Leigh Doyle)

A work of art in southeast Calgary will be painted over because Enmax says it is a safety concern.

A local artist was hired by a property management company to decorate several utility boxes.

Mary-Leigh Doyle thought it was similar to a city of Calgary program, where she'd painted six utility boxes around town. Some of that art is on Memorial Drive, Macleod Trail and near the Calgary Zoo.

Doyle has been told the pictures will be painted over.

“I felt pretty bad when I felt I had helped beautify a spot and the public had been approaching me already saying how much they appreciated it and how much nicer it was,” says Doyle.

However Enmax says it is a transformer and has important warning information on the panels, according to spokesperson Doris Kauffman-Woodcock.

“There's critical and numerical information that our crews need particularly in emergency situations, that was also covered up in paint. And first and foremost this is an electrical piece of equipment that we need to ensure safety is covered off before public art.”

Kauffman says ENMAX is open to doing art in controlled situations.

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